A young woman in a skimpy bathing suit floats in a hot tub. Just seconds ago, she caught sight of an unfamiliar creature, a hulking figure in the background of the selfies she took. But like so many horror movie victims, she ignored good sense and laid back in the tub, unaware of the danger looming behind her.
This setup may be familiar, but the assailants are neither Freddy nor Jason nor Chucky. They are Winnie-the-Pooh and Piglet, lovable denizens of the Hundred Acre Wood.
How can this happen, you might wonder? While neither writer A. A. Milne nor illustrator Ernest H. Shepard, who introduced Pooh and friends in the 1926 book Winnie-the-Pooh, are no longer alive to raise objections, most people know Pooh and Piglet as Disney characters. Since 1961, The Walt Disney Company has owned the rights to Milne and Shepard’s characters and have fought anyone who would impinge on their property.
But on January 1, 2022, Winnie-the-Pooh entered the public domain, as did the characters it contained, which gave writer/director Rhys Frake-Waterfield the legal permission to make his low-budget slasher Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey. And nobody, not even Disney, can stop him.